Monday, September 24, 2012

Sports (whatever)day: 9/24/12

I meant to write something like this before the weekend rather than after, but I didn't have time, so...let's talk about games after they happened for once!

We're going on vacation next week, and to be honest, I could kind of use a vacation from sports, too. Every weekend, I load up the DVR schedule, and trying to watch everything that I record...well, it's kind of exhausting. I could use a break. All of you who watch wire-to-wire-to-wire football all weekend long, I don't know how you do it. I can barely sit through one game anymore without wanting to get up and do something else, let alone three consecutive games. (Note: having a young child who has recently discovered how to walk also makes this task far more difficult.)

Well, regardless, I can still write half-assed commentary about my favorite teams and/or sports! What will I be missing the next two weekends, and what can I expect to see when I get back?

Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)

Last weekend: My take is that the Jaguars didn't win because of Blaine Gabbert; they won despite Blaine Gabbert. He made one great play to win the game, of course, but aside from that, he looked pretty bad, to the point where I'm not sure 8-8 is attainable this year. Sure, it's great to get the win, but they were very fortunate. How many more of these are the Jaguars going to get this year? (By the way, would Cecil Shorts have been better off going down at the 1 instead of scoring a touchdown, kind of like Maurice Jones-Drew did a few years back, in order to set up a game winning field goal as time expired?)

The next two weekends: Two home games, versus Cincinnati, and versus Chicago. Do they win either? If I get back from our trip and the Jaguars are anything but 1-4, I'll be happy. (In case you can't tell, I'm not overly encouraged by what I've seen so far. Where is Justin Blackmon?)

Other NFL teams

Last weekend: Lots of great games on Sunday! But aside from the Jaguars, I didn't watch much of it. I'm having trouble getting into the goings on in the rest of the league this season.

The next two weekends: Hopefully by Week 6, the games will seem a little more meaningful, and I can get excited about the 4:00 games again.

Florida State football

Last weekend: HUGE win versus Clemson, obviously. Lots of work yet to be done, but now is an okay time to start talking about things like "National Title" and such. They're in the hunt, and that's exciting. Clemson is a good team, and they brought everything they had on Saturday.

The next two weekends: On the other hand...they still haven't played a road game yet, and I'm not going to take a single one of them for granted, even though they'll likely be huge favorites in two of them (South Florida, Maryland) and modest favorites in the other three (NC State, Miami, Virginia Tech). FSU plays South Florida and NC State the next two weekends, and given where I live, it would be really nice if they didn't lose to NC State...

Penn State football

Last weekend: At times, I considered the possibility that Penn State would start 0-4. Well, they beat Navy and Temple (woo?) to start 2-2, and the Big Ten is awful this year, so who's to say they can't go 7-5, even?

The next two weekends: At Illinois, versus Northwestern. I think 2-4, 3-3, and 4-2 are all possible outcomes by the time I get back from Vermont.

Washington Nationals

Last weekend: Including today's Nationals win, Atlanta gained a half game on Washington over the weekend to move within 5 games of the division lead with a week and a half to go. It would be a truly epic collapse at this point, but still, it's not over yet! The Braves are playing really well right now, and the Nationals aren't necessarily playing poorly, but you kind of get the sense that they're basically just treading water at this point.

The next two weekends: I don't know when the Wild Card games are going to be played, but hopefully, the Nationals will still be playing when I return from vacation. They only way they won't be is if they fail to win the division, and then go on to lose the Wild Card playoff game. Don't blow it, guys!

NASCAR and Formula One

Last weekend: In NASCAR, despite not winning either race, I think Jimmie Johnson has asserted himself as the favorite two races into the Chase. It's him versus everyone else. In Formula One, it's Fernando Alonso's championship to lose, but Sebastian Vettel is more than capable of making a late-season run (ala 2010).

The next two weekends: Even after my vacation, there will still be six NASCAR races, and five Formula One races, remaining. On one hand, that's great...on the other hand, how is it that F1 has fourteen races from March through September, and then six in October/November alone? (The answer is that all of these new races - Abu Dhabi, India, Korea, Austin - are getting late-season dates, for some reason.)


Last weekend: Still no agreement between the owners and the players.

The next two weekends: Still no agreement between the owners and the players, most likely.

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